Thanks to continued dry weather in many parts of the state, the Illinois corn and soybean harvest is nearing completion.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 91% of Illinois corn acres have now been harvested, with 89% of soybeans finished. Harvest progress for both crops is ahead of the 5 year average for this time of year, though farmers in 2015 had made slightly more progress by the end of October, with both crops at 95% complete then.
The most recent USDA crop forecast predicts a statewide corn yield average of 202 bushels per acre, 27 bushels higher than 2015. Soybeans are forecast to hit a statewide average of 62 bushels per acre, 6 bushels more than 2015.
Illinois wheat acres are now 85% planted, with 63% of the plants having already emerged from the soil.
Much of the farmers’ progress this far owes to continued mild weather through the harvest season. Outside of the most Northeastern part of the state, temperatures last week averaged from 2 to nearly 6 degrees warmer than usual.
Soil conditions look good as farmers begin to look forward to the spring planting season. 80% of topsoil is rated as having adequate moisture, with 87% of subsoil receiving the same mark.